Qatar is set to have its biggest mall when Doha Festival City, a major state-of-the-art retail, entertainment and leisure destination in the country, is fully completed.
The QR6bn complex is being constructed on a 433, 847sqm plot which includes a 260,000sqm gross leasable area, the largest in Qatar, according to Marwan Shehadeh, Group Director – Corporate Development, Al Futtaim Group, during the groundbreaking ceremony yesterday.
Owned and developed by Bawabat Al Shamal Real Estate Company (BASREC) which is composed of investors Al Futtaim, Qatar Islamic Bank and Qatari investors; Doha Festival City will comprise over 400 retail units including first times in the region and local brands. It is also Al Futtaim’s third mega-project in the Mena region and its largest retail shopping centre to date.
“This mix use destination is being built to adapt to the local market. Compared to Dubai Festival City, this complex has a bigger mall,” said Shehadeh, adding they are expecting a big market share with an estimated 1.6m footfalls a month once it becomes fully operational by 2014.
Apart from retail shopping with international brands, the complex boasts of food court, casual dining, coffee shops and cafes; unique entertainment and leisure concepts; supermarket; cinemas; luxury retail zone; hotel and convention facilities and automotive showroom. It is also home to IKEA, the world’s largest furniture retailer which will open next year.
“The complex will also have two hotels which we will be announcing in the next few weeks,” said Shehadeh.
Located on the northern highway linking Doha International Airport with the proposed Qatar Bahrain Causeway, the iconic project features an interior design inspired by nature and elements of wind, water, wood and earth. Within the retail loops are four district interior zones namely Water Concourse, Garden Promenade, Rainforest Boardwalk and Fashion Galleria.
Ensuring a seamless integration of this one-of-a-kind development has been achieved through an integrated road and world class vehicle management system with adequate parking (8,500 plus car parks) that will ensure the ease of traffic to this iconic destination.
With its strategic positioning, the mega destination is ideally equipped to meet the retail and entertainment needs of not only Qatar, but also neighbouring GCC countries, said Shehadeh.
The first phase, IKEA, part of the Al-Futtaim Group, is due for completion in Q4 2012 with 32,000sqm of space, while the remaining elements of Doha Festival City will be delivered in Q4 2014.